1. Evaluation of Potential Colocation Providers
Below are the service providers that Hcoop, Inc. is considering for our future hosting needs, along with available information about pricing and infrastructure. Some providers that are no longer being considered for our hosting needs are listed at the page PreviouslyConsideredColocationProviders.
1.1. Peer 1
Peer 1 offers a quarter cabinet for 10U. A fast ethernet port with a 5MB/s connection is provided. Monthly costs for the space will be $750, and there would be a $400 initial charge for installation of a rack/cabinet. A 10 amp circuit is provided.
Peer 1 does not sell hardware.
Their response to our request as a PDF: Peer1.QuarterCab.Proposal.pdf
It looks pretty clear that Peer1 is by far the highest quality provider on our list, and I was impressed by their letter and quote. The bar to entry is also high; $750 a month and 10U to utilize. On the other hand it is tempting; PLENTY of room for growth probably for years to come, a first-class network (450 direct tier one peers, 1-ms maximum intercity latency, 4-ms maximum intercity latency delivery to any tier one peer). We would NOT be having the kind of network issues we were plagued with in the past with Interserver. It is definitely a good value, but it an awfully big step up from where we are now--we don't want to waste member resources if the cabinet went vastly underutilized for long periods of time; we would need a major membership drive or some really big clients. Another advantage is the datacenter is in Manhattan and provides secure unescorted access. I could personally be there to fix, install, or upgrade stuff from my house within an hour. Of course if we are thinking beyond two years we can't just count on me, since who knows what I will be doing then, and of course on-site response can't be replaced in a lot of situations, but having an alternative to a $150/hour remote hands fee for most situations would be nice. NathanKennedy Another thing, I seriously think we should consider marketing dedicated servers or collocation ourselves. This would be another valuable service we could provide, which would make it much easier to fill larger cabinets and allow even our $5/mo. members to benefit from the best possible facilities. NathanKennedy
If we can stay under 1MB/s, the rate for bandwidth plus up to 7U is $300/month.
He.net does not sell hardware.
Their response to our request as a PDF: he_colo.pdf
HE looks great. I have heard great things about them, and this is definitely a good deal for what it is. I think they come a close second after Peer1 for quality. NathanKennedy
I ran my Artelope web site off a basic user account on HE for 5 or 6 years. I was always satisfied with their service, both in terms of uptime and in terms of helping me out with a human being when I had a problem. I closed my account and came here because I felt their price was too much to pay for a small site like mine. JoshGoldfoot
1.3. Switch and Data
Switch and Data is carrier-neutral, meaning that they would give us space, and we would buy bandwidth from another provider (or multiple providers, eventually). I got quotes for three locations that Switch and Data has in NYC. The reason that the 65 Broadway location is slightly less expensive than the other two locations is because it has connections to fewer providers available compared to the other locations in NYC. If we can live with the providers
Bundled Half Cabinet:
Includes: (1) Half Locking Cabinet/Open Face Rack, 10 AMPS AC Power, (1) Cross Connect (Media Agnostic)
65 Broadway: $625.00 Monthly Recurring Cost
111 8th & 60 Hudson St: $775.00 Monthly Recurring Cost
The Switch and Data representative also gave me site specifications for their three locations in NYC.
Justin had disqualified Simpli before, but I was surprised at their nonresponsiveness, because I'd had some nice e-mail conversations with the founder in the past. So, I e-mailed her asking what was up and she got back to us in a few days. She said that she hadn't replied before because Simpli is currently figuring out the details of expanding into some new hosting space and that made some pricing issues uncertain. I don't think it was acceptable to give us no reply because of this, but I at least have reason to believe that these are good people at Simpli and that we should consider them, given their much lower rates for colocation at our current modest needs. --AdamChlipala
I think that any provider which does not respond in a timely manner should be removed from consideration, without exception. This was a warning sign with InterServer that we failed to heed. --MichaelOlson
They would provide the hardware with 1-year parts and labor warranties:
Web server (each): $964.60 (includes 3Ware 2-port Serial ATA hardware RAID card; subtract $150 if you would prefer software RAID) - Uses 2x80GB Western Digital SATA drives. Database server: $2700 with 500GB drives $2180 with 400GB drives (includes 3Ware 4-port Serial ATA hardware RAID card; subtract $380 if you would prefer software RAID) Both configurations are 1U. Each server comes with a 1-year parts and labor warranty. After the year, we can replace parts for the part cost + labor (which is $100/hour) or you can buy the parts yourself through us or through any vendor and replace it yourself by scheduling a datacenter visit. Your total colocation price would be $70/month for 2U of space (assuming 2 servers) plus whatever bandwidth costs you would have. Serial console service is $20/month per server. We don't currently have an offsite backup service such as the one you are looking for, but we will in the next 2-3 months as we open a second location.
This leaves out some details of bandwidth pricing, which can be found at http://www.simpli.biz/colocation.php.